As I mentioned in a recent post, we've been watching The Adventures of Tintin, a Canadian TV series from 1991. One of the joys of watching, besides the multifarious adventures, is the collection of assembled accents. Whenever an English character appears, he utters syllables that surely have never passed the lips of any citizen of the British Isles. However, Tintin's dulcet Canadian tones more than make up for other abuses. We don't often get the chance, in our neck of the woods, to hear a genuine Canadian accent, and Tintin's is a doozy.
What stands out, particularly, is his pronunciation of the word "sorry". I'm going to render it as "SORE-y", though it could also be spelled "sory". At one point he has to apologize profusely to a room of tourists. "SORE-y!" he exclaims. "Sory, everyone. Sory abowt that!"
This started me thinking about how I pronounce "sorry". Although I've standardized a good deal throughout the years, I still carry some of the cadences of my Virginia childhood and my mother's Baton Rouge roots. When I need to apologize a la Tintin, I might say "SAH-ry uh-BAOUt THAt." (The small t at the end denotes not a dropped letter, but a closing without a distinct explosive sound.)
Darwin grew up in Los Angeles and can have a quick monotone West Coast delivery at times. My best approximation of his off-the-cuff apology ("Hey hon, say "Sorry about that", will you?") is "Srry'bouthat".
Eleanor, age 10 in about 30 minutes, has appeared in the library complaining of growing pains. When asked to speak the phrase, she produces a perfect "Sorry about that" with no discernible accent. Is it a good blend of West and South? Do Darwin and I use better diction when speaking to the children? I don't know, but her pronunciation needs no apology.
The Virginian by Owen Wister
13 minutes ago